What is the story of Chengdu?

Planet Institute
Very few people have had the luxury of capturing a panorama of Chengdu, a city covering a vast area and often shrouded in fog.
Planet Institute

Very few people have had the luxury of capturing a panorama of Chengdu, a city covering a vast area and often shrouded in fog.

Li Heng

This picture shows Chengdu blanketed in morning fog on August, 2014. The tower on the left is TV Tower 339.

Jia Nan, a Jiangxi-born photographer who works in Chengdu, resolved to bide his time to capture the perfect view in seemingly the most difficult way. He ascended Mount Longquan in the east of Chengdu at six every morning for three years, patiently waiting for the dissipation of clouds and fog.

Revised by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute / Mapbox

A map of Mount Longquan, which is one of the best vantage points to overlook Chengdu. The green part shows the administrative area of Chengdu. 

Unprecedented clear skies finally emerged on the morning of June 5, 2017. Jia Nan seized the opportunity to take a succession of 32 pictures which were delicately combined to deliver a genuine panorama of Chengdu. The final image depicts an all-round view of Chengdu, but also clearly demonstrates that Chengdu stands on a plain sandwiched between two mountains.

Included in the panorama is the green-covered Mount Longquan. Farther away stands the 7,000 meter tall Mount Gongga, the 6,000-meter-high Peak Yaomei and summits along the Hengduan Mountains which are all clearly visible. The vast plain sandwiched between the two mountain ranges is dotted with man-made buildings. This magnificent and vibrant cluster is Chengdu, a mega-city with a permanent population of 16 million.

Jia Nan

Please hold your cellphone horizontally when looking at this long picture which was shot by photographer Jia Nan at Liangfengya on Mount Longquan and annotated by Mi Zhilin. The prominent avenue shown in this picture is Chenglong Avenue. 

Notwithstanding the clear panorama, Chengdu still has many mysteries yet to be unraveled. It is a landlocked city in southwest China with no easy access to the outside world. Nor does it rest anywhere near the Yangtze River, like Chongqing or other river cities which are endowed with convenient water transport.

Revised by the Planet Institute / National Administration of Mapping, Surveying and Geoinformation

The picture is a sketch map showing the geographical location of Chengdu. 

However, business elites hold a bullish view about Chengdu’s development prospects. Apart from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Chengdu is regarded as a prime place for fortune-seekers and dream-chasers.

The favorite non first-tier city for corporate workers

CBN weekly

Chengdu is rated as the favorite non first-tier city of corporate workers. The ranking is quoted from the 23rd edition of CBN weekly in 2016.

Ordinary people enjoy Chengdu’s lifestyle with great relish. It seems that the daily life of Chengdu-dwellers revolves around beautiful women, gastronomical delicacies, mahjong and tea houses. No wonder such an easy and comfortable life is coveted by many Chinese people.

The most livable cities

CBN weekly

This diagram is the ranking of livable cities in China, quoted from the 23rd edition of CBN weekly in 2016.

Chengdu has long topped other counterparts in the ranking of the most online searched provincial capital, well ahead of Hangzhou and Nanjing which have gained increasing popularity in recent years.

Baidu

The diagram is the ranking of the provincial capitals most searched online, made by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute with data quoted from Baidu's List of Hotly Searched Items on Jan 30, 2018.

What kind of city is Chengdu?

Why does it hold such an enormous attraction?

Perhaps its charm comes from its inclusiveness to people from all walks of life. For over 3,000 years, people with diverse backgrounds, noble or civilian, have played their own part in this shared arena.

Part Ⅰ Birth

Tens of millions of years ago, the landmass of China was undergoing dynamic orogenesis with the continuous rise of the Hengduan Mountains, Daba Mountains, Mount Wu and Mount Dalou. Those mountains gradually moved closer together from the west, the north, the east and the south respectively, thus forming a huge basin at the center. This is how the Sichuan Basin came into being.

MapsForFree

The picture is the topographic map of the Sichuan Basin, quoted from MapsForFree and mapped by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute.

The Hengduan Mountains on the basin’s west side stand out from other mountains, with the formation of huge glaciers. Rivers originating from the melting of glaciers and rainfall roll out of the gorge with gravel and sediment which are constantly deposited onto the basin.

Revised by the Planet Institute / University of Notre Dame

A sketch map showing the alluvial fan in front of the mountains. The alluvial fan is part of the alluvial plain.

After millions of years of alluviation, the sediment between Mount Longmen and Mount Longquan is more than 300 meters deep, covering an area of 9,500 square kilometers, hence the emergence of the Chengdu Plain.

Revised by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute / Mapbox

The Chengdu Plain is referred to in a narrow sense here. 

Chengdu, as a city on the plain sandwiched between two mountains, is endowed with the most favorable natural conditions within the Sichuan Basin and is reputed to be the best of the best. The city is decorated with picturesque scenery including green mountains which are commonly seen in east China, and snow-covered peaks with year-round ice in the west.

Jia Nan

The green mountain in this picture is Mount Longquan, while the one farther away is Minya Konka. 

The 5,353 meter high Mount Daxuetang eclipses all other mountains within the administrative area of Chengdu.

Yi Sichao

The picture shows the resort of Xiling Snow Mountain. The highest mountain within this resort is Mount Daxuetang.

Lofty mountains contribute to the formation of an abundant river system with water meandering from the mountains to the plains.

He Lei

This picture shows the back of Mount Qingcheng.

Countless small waterfalls are naturally layered upon each other.

Luo Zheng

Rainbow Waterfall in Mount Tiantai.

River networks are interwoven on the plain. Especially after water from the Min River flows into the plain, the flow of water becomes very gentle and branches out. In Chengdu, you can see a relatively big river course every three to five kilometers, which makes it an area with the densest river networks on the Sichuan Plain.

Google

This picture shows Chengdu’s drainage map, which includes some artificial river courses. The original version comes from Google, and was then revised by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute.

Close-knit rivers carry a large amount of sediment, including nutrient-rich humus, to the plain, making the soil here increasingly fertile.

Cao Mingxiong

This picture shows the Bailuwan Wetland Park.

Fecund soil, plus the vertical natural belt spanning from the top of high mountains to the plain, feeds a diverse array of animals and plants, including 2,600-odd spermatophytes and 237 vertebrates. Rare animals like the giant panda and red panda also thrive here.

Li Xuesong

Giant pandas. 

YanSu

A red panda.

Despite its proximity to the Hengduan Mountains, which have frequent tectonic movement, Chengdu has a firm tectonic structure. The sediment which runs several hundred meters deep can help absorb and mitigate shockwaves. Thus, rarely do destructive earthquakes affect this area.

This image is a sketch map of fault belts near Chengdu, quoted from Exploration of Fault-Zone Trapped Waves at Pingtong Town, in the Wenchuan Earthquake Region, and revised by Zhu Yalin at the Planet Institute.

With breath-taking scenery, well-developed river systems, fertile soil, diverse animals and plants, and very few occurrences of earthquakes, Chengdu is surely endowed with favorable natural conditions. As was described by Li Bai: “Chengdu, carved out by Heaven millions of years ago, presents before the eyes a picturesque view of myriad beautifully decorated households.” Now, the arena of Chengdu is set, and it is yearning for its performers.

Part Ⅱ Nobility

It was the ancient Shu people who inhabited the upper reaches of the Min River that first discovered the enormous value of Chengdu. They arrived at the Chengdu Plain by going downstream and surmounting rows of mountains.

Jinsha Heritage Site Museum

This picture shows an upright bronze statue featuring the typical image of the Shu people with short stature, a haggard face, and wide-open eyes. Its head is covered by an arc-shaped toupee with tooth-like ornaments, which remains very fashionable nowadays. This bronze statue was unearthed at the Jinsha Heritage Site. 

Chengdu laid a solid foundation for the supremacy of the king of the ancient Shu Kingdom. About 3,000 years ago, a magnificent city (today’s Jinsha site) showed its presence in the northwest of Chengdu, with the king ruling from within.

Zhang Yan

This picture shows the Jinsha Heritage Site Museum.

Delicate gold vessels and huge pieces of ivory added radiance to lavish ceremonies hosted by the king. With the excavation of more than 200 gold vessels, the Jinsha site ranks No.1 in terms of the number and type of such unearthed relics in China, compared to any other site dating back to the pre-Qin era. The excavated ivory weighed in at several tons.

Li Bin

The picture below shows a gold mask in the Jinsha site.

Exquisite craftsmanship and futuristic aesthetics embody the spiritual belief of the king. Four holy birds spreading their wings are depicted on a two-millimeter-thick gold foil. The birds hover around the gleaming sun, forming a closed loop which symbolizes life and growth in nature.

The picture shows the gold foil which is prohibited from being showcased outside China. The pattern on the foil was selected as the emblem of China’s cultural heritage. The picture was obtained from Wikipedia and shot by Siyuwj.

Some 2,300 years ago, the ancient Shu kingdom was conquered by the kingdom of Qin. The newly-appointed prefectural chief, Li Bing, came with an ambitious mission. According to that mission, Chengdu would not only serve as the hub for the governance of the Shu kingdom, but also be transformed into a breadbasket providing material support for the unification of China. It was against this background that an unprecedented super project was launched, namely the Dujiangyan water conservancy project.

Tang Chao

The picture shows the Dujiangyan water conservancy project.

Li Bing mobilized the local people to fine-tune the natural conditions and divide the flood-prone Min River into two subsidiaries. The inner tributary is used for irrigation while the outer one is for the discharge of flood water.

Yu Ming

The picture shows the Shahei River on the left. The channel in the middle is the inner tributary while the one on the right is the outer tributary. 

The successful completion of the Dujiangyan water conservancy project greatly promoted the development of agriculture. Since then, the Chengdu Plain embraced such tremendous fertility that hunger was a thing of the past. 

Chengdu also took away the laurel as the Land of Abundance from the Guanzhong Plain very quickly. In the 30-year war launched by the Qin kingdom to unify China, food and weapons produced in Chengdu were transported to the front line. Copious material support helped the king of the Qin kingdom secure the final success of unification.

Zhou Shijun

This picture is an aerial photo showing a rural field in Ranyi town in the suburbs of Chengdu.

Like the king of the Qin kingdom, Liu Bang, the king of Han, also considered Chengdu to be one of the most reliable breadbaskets during his fight with Xiang Yu. He directed Xiao He to “collect taxes and fees from Sichuan to finance food supplies for his army”. Xiao He was given the title of “The Most Meritorious Statesman” by Liu Bang, thanks to his excellent work in tax collection.

Xu Haolun

The quotations above come from Shiji, a great Chinese chronicle. The picture shows fields of rape flowers along Chongqing Road in Chongzhou.

People in Chengdu paid tribute to Li Bing for his great contribution by revering him as the Guardian of Sichuan. Li Bing’s second son was also written into mythologies as God Er-Lang, a three-eyed god. Therefore, Li Bing and his second son formed the so-called master of Sichuan. In its prime, as many as 500 temples were built and dedicated to this belief.

Tang Chao

This picture shows Fulong Temple in Lidui Park of Dujiangyan. The temple enshrines and worships Li Bing and his son. In other places outside Sichuan, there is another God called Yang Er-Lang.

Around 1,700 years ago, the Han Dynasty was carved into the three kingdoms of Wei, Shu and Wu. Zhuge Liang, a resourceful strategist, identified Chengdu as the center for the governance of Sichuan. Yet, the key to out-competing other kingdoms did not lie in the number of brilliant minds. Instead, it was the economic strength of the three core areas that had the final say on who would be the winner. 

In spite of the highly developed agriculture of Chengdu Plain, the kingdom of Shu was financially weak and geographically small. As premier, Zhuge Liang needed to find a source of revenue for the kingdom. At that time, “Jin” (brocade) as a luxury aroused his interests.

“Since our people and kingdom are both financially challenged, only brocade can generate the much-needed revenue for us to defeat our enemies”, quoted from Imperial Readings of Taiping Era. 

During the Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty and the Period of Three Kingdoms, Chengdu abounded in brocade production of unparalleled quality in China. It was not only sought-after by local high officials and noble lords, but also exported to the kingdoms of Wei and Wu, and even to places outside China.

Liu Yusheng

The picture shows a well-known Shu brocade from the East Han Dynasty and Wei-Jin Dynasty. This brocade features five stars rising from the east and was unearthed at the Niya heritage site in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. After thousands of years, its color remains bright and the eight Chinese characters are still prominent and legible.

In order to monopolize the production of Shu brocade, the Shu government built an official workshop in the west of Chengdu, named “Jinguan City”. Thus, Chengdu was given another beautiful sounding name, “Jin City” or “Jinguan City.”

“Dawn sees saturated reds; the town’s heavy with blooms." This is quoted from Happy Rain on a Spring Night by Du Fu, a great poet from the Tang Dynasty. 

Since then, countless places named “Jin” kept emerging in Chengdu. The place where the brocade workshop was located was called Jinli.

Liu Chengyao.

Today’s Jinli has been developed into a famous commercial street, as seen in the picture above.

The river where weavers used to wash brocade is still called the Jin River today.

Fan Zhe

The Fu River and Nan River, running through Chengdu, form the Jin River. This picture shows the morning glow mirrored in the Jin River.

However, Zhuge Liang “died before achieving his desired triumph.” Shu brocade was also gradually eclipsed by the silk produced in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. 

But Zhuge Liang’s great contribution to the governance of Sichuan has been inscribed in people’s memory forever. Therefore, locals built a splendid temple called Wuhou Temple in honor of him. 

The temple ground teems with pine, cypress and bamboo, giving off the fragrance of freshness. As is described in Temple of the Premier of Shu by Du Fu, “Where is the famous premier’s temple to be found? Outside the town of brocade with cypresses around.”

Zhang Yan

Wuhou Temple, as the only temple featuring shared burial of the monarch and his subjects, is actually composed of Wuhou Temple, Hanzhaolie Temple and Hui Tomb. Yet, people still like referring to all three as Wuhou Temple.

The king of the ancient Shu kingdom, Emperor Qin, king of Han, Li Bing, Zhuge Liang and other powerful figures all built their success in Chengdu. Meanwhile, a group of new performers have been waiting patiently to stage their performance in this arena.

Part Ⅲ Ancient Literati

In the Pre-Qin Period and Qin and Han Dynasties, although Chengdu had some economic development, it was still a cultural backwater compared with Central China. 

In the Tang and Song Dynasties, Chengdu reached its economic peak and was acknowledged as the second economic center of China, ranking only after Yangzhou. In stable and peaceful times, scholars and literati visited Chengdu as a kind of fashionable thing to do.

Famous poets like Wang Bo, Lu Zhaoling, Li Bai and Lu You all favored the city. Li Diaoyuan, a poet of the Qing Dynasty, wrote that since ancient times, it has been a common practice for poets to visit Chengdu. 

In times of turbulence in Central China, scholars and literati fled to Chengdu for shelter. This was mostly seen during the An Lushan Rebellion period and Five Dynasties wartime in the late Tang Dynasty.

W ikipedia

In the painting above, Emperor Xuanzong’s Journey to Shu (National Palace Museum Taipei, by Li Zhaodao (China, ca.675-c.750) described Emperor Xuanzong’s refuge trip to Shu. There are still disputes on who was actually the painter. 

In AD 759, to avoid the chaos of the An-Shi Rebellion, Du Fu moved to Chengdu when he was 47 years old. After staying in the temple for a short period of time, he decided to build his own new house. He borrowed some money from his relatives, wood and bamboo from the county magistrate, and even bowls from his friends. After several months, the famous thatched cottage of Du Fu was built.

Fan Zhe

Thatching in the Plum Garden is simple but unique. 

On each side of the small lane in front of the thatched cottage, there were trees and flowers. When his friends came to visit him, Du Fu would be very happy, as shown in what he wrote in A Guest Arrives (Kezhi).

"The floral path has never been swept for a guest. Today, for the first time, the rough gate opens for the gentleman.”

A Du

The floral path in the thatched cottage of Du Fu. The red walls and the avenue in between were constructed in later times. 

After all his vagrancy, Du Fu finally settled down and developed a leisurely and carefree mood to appreciate Chengdu’s beautiful spring. Under his narration Quatrains, Xiling Snow Mountain became a household name in China.

“Looking out of the window, the snow lies on the western mountains for a thousand years. Seeing through the gate, there are the ships from the eastern land of Wu.”

Hui Zhijie

Now the Xiling Snow Mountain covers neighboring areas of Miaoji Hill or possibly Yaomei Mountain. Above is a ski resort at Xiling Snow Mountain. 

Thirty-plus years after Du Fu’s Chengdu arrival, Xue Tao — a well-respected female poet — came to Chengdu together with her father. Unfortunately, her father died shortly after they settled down in Chengdu. Due to her poor financial situation, she was forced to work as a courtesan to serve and entertain high officials and noble lords. At that time, poets were mostly males who liked to express their feelings and wrote on large sheets of paper. Xue Tao, with her delicate heart, thought of more exquisite and customized paper materials and she decided to make her own paper. She drew water from a well and designed a smaller sheet of paper. She even painted her paper in pink.

Zhuo Yuan

The Well of Xue Tao. It is said that Xue Tao used to draw water from this well. 

This smaller writing paper was immediately favored by scholars and literati. People of later generations followed Xue Tao’s method to manufacture such paper. Later, it was named as Xue Tao paper. In her later years, Xue Tao lived by the Flower Washing Brook (Huanhuaxi).

To remember her, the Chengdu people built magnificent architectural complexes by the Jin Jiang River, the Wangjiang Pavilion is one of them.

Wang Xingang

Wangjiang Pavilion.

With more and more literati and scholars arriving, Chengdu gradually evolved into a city of culture and art. People there were very enthusiastic about writing poems, painting, and music. Du Fu wrote about this phenomenon in A Poem for Hua-Qing (Military Officer Hua Jingding).

Also, as optimism was a characteristic of Chengdu people, life there was full of humor and fun.

stock.tuchong.com

Beating Drum Pottery Figurine in Eastern Han Dynasty, unearthed at Tianhui Mountain in Chengdu. Its vivid smile earned it the honor of ‘The No.1 Figurine of Eastern Han Dynasty”. 

The whole city was immersed in an atmosphere of leisure and enjoyment. People were leading a life of leisure.

Shi Yaocheng

Pottery Dancing Figurine, now in Chengdu Museum. 

When about to leave Chengdu, Li Shangyin expressed his impressions.

“Chengdu is a perfect place for spending one’s remaining years. Chengdu has not only good liquors, stands are catered by ladies as pretty as Zhuo Wenjun.”

Outdoor events were not only common and grand, but also participated in by both government officials and the general public.

As written in the literary work of Song Dynasty: “Chengdu was a city of events and fun. Local people loved grand entertainment activities. Whenever there was an event, people would very much like to participate.”

Besides, people in Chengdu took huge effort to renovate tourist attractions so as to transform them into pleasure resorts, the Flower Washing Brook (Huanhuaxi) being a good example.

Cao Mingxiong

Today’s Flower Washing Brook Park landscape. Please hold your cellphone horizontally when looking at this long picture.  

People grew many flowers and plants in Chengdu, including Chinese flowering crab-apple, gardenia, azalea, plum blossoms and gingko trees. The most famous flower was the peony, with Chengdu being called “the City of Peony” (Rong Cheng).

Zhu Jianguo

To better appreciate the beautiful scenery, Chengdu people built numerous pavilions and pagodas.

Wang Xingang

Hejiang Pavilion. 

Zhou Shijun

Scattering Flower Pavilion. Li Bai once wrote a poem when standing on it. 

Mao Feng

Anshun Bridge, construction time unknown, was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.

In the meantime, religious activities were booming in Chengdu. In the Sui and Tang dynasties, it was estimated that there were 43 Buddhist temples in the Chengdu area. Master Xuanzang was said to be ordained in one of these temples.

Luo Zheng

Aerial view of Wenshu Monastery.

The beautiful Qingcheng Mountain was a settlement for Taoist temples, thus being renowned as the mountain of Taoism.

Tang Chao

Shangqing Palace of Qingcheng Mountain. Inscription by Chiang Kai-shek. 

Literature, painting, music, liquor, recreation, and amusement, helped literati and scholars like the famed poets Li Bai, Du Fu and Xue Tao to come alive in Chengdu. Ordinary people are what set Chengdu on fire.

Part Ⅳ Everyday People

During the change of dynasties between Yuan, Ming and Qing, Chengdu was no longer a safe and peaceful area. Frequent slaughters cut the population sharply — especially after the two slaughters committed by Zhang Xianzhong at the end of Ming dynasty. Chengdu was nearly an empty city.

Then, during the switch between the Yuan and Ming dynasties and that of the Ming and Qing dynasties, to the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in the 20th century, large numbers of people from Hunan and Hubei provinces migrated to Chengdu, changing the population mix here.

Chengdu Museum

The appearance of Chengdu people in the Ming dynasty, made using glaze-colored pottery and excavated at Wulidun, Chengdu. This figurine, with a hat on its head and its garment colored by blue glaze, has a vivid countenance. 

New villages and towns have mushroomed and thrived around the Chengdu Plain.

Yin Guicheng

Ancient Pingle Town, Qionglai.

“Large manors” were built by landlords.

Zhu Jianguo

The Liu’s Manor, built by Landlord Liu Wencai, is one of the most completely preserved manors in China. 

The Hakka people introduced Tulou (circled earth buildings) to Chengdu.

Shi Lei

Tulou in Ancient Luodai Town

Manchu people following the habit of the northern Chinese, building kuanzhai alleys (wide and narrow alleys) in northern China.

Ye Qing

Kuanzhai Alley has become a well-known shopping street.

Those migrants, with living habits and dialects from their original hometowns, lived next-door to and married each other, which developed a brand-new culture in this “melting pot”. The culture represented by the noble and the erudite was replaced by a folk culture represented by a kaleidoscopic of food. 

Those migrants integrated flavors from different parts of China and created Sichuan cuisine, which is widely favored. Spicy hot pot, noodles with spicy sauce, tangyuan (sweet soup balls), rice noodles with intestine, Zhong dumplings, sliced beef and offal in chili sauce, mung bean jelly with chili sauce, mapo tofu, spicy rabbit head, guokui (crusty pancakes),  and wantons.

Noble lords, tradesmen and porters, all loved these delicious dishes.

Zhu Jianguo

Those migrants integrated their local operas —Kunqu Opera from Jiangsu, Hanchu Opera from Hubei, Qinqiang Opera from Shaanxi — with Gaoqiang Opera and Dengxi Opera from Sichuan, creating Sichuan Opera, which is famous for bianlian (face changing) and tuhuo (fire breathing).

Zhu Jianguo

Migrants opened tea houses all over the city. No social classes were identified and no etiquette needed to be followed here. People from all walks of life just shoot the breeze over the tea pot.

Zhu Jianguo

The character “Bai” is Sichuan dialect, which means chatting, as used in this open air teahouse.

Mahjong became an activity for everyone, with people from every background sitting to enjoy it. Mahjong tables have become the most popular spot for socializing in Chengdu.

Zhu Jianguo

Mahjong in the river.

The flourishing folk culture enabled the small, commodity economy to thrive in the Ming and Qing dynasties. 

In the 1920s, Yang Sen, the general of the Sichuan Clique, ordered a western-style street to be built in Chengdu. This street was called Sen Wei Road. 

Zhejiang and Jiangsu business groups along with Peiping (today’s Beijing) business groups and Sichuan business groups ran a lot of the shops along the street. 

It gathered 70% of total business capital in Chengdu, and was Chengdu’s CBD at the time. Sen Wei Road now has a more famous name: Chunxi Road.

Zhang Sheng

Chunxi Road acquired its name from Tao Te Ching. Lao Zi said of it: “The crowd is delighted, as if they were enjoying the worship or were appreciating the spring scenery.” 

The flourishing commerce and the growing population prompted Chengdu authorities to plan ring roads as early as 1936. The First Ring Road built along the city wall is 15-kilometers long. The Second Ring Road, surrounding the urban area, is 55-kilometers long. These make Chengdu into one of the most typical loop traffic cities in China.

Wang Yuquan

The Qingshuihe flyover on the Second Ring Road takes the shape of facial makeup in Sichuan Opera. 

Western-style education was also introduced to Chengdu at that time. In 1910, Christian churches from dozens of western countries jointly founded the West China Union University. 

The place it was located was called Huaxi (West China) Dam. The university combined Chinese and western architectural styles, enjoying both the beauty of traditional Chinese-style gardens and the charm of western royal gardens.

Wang Xingang

West China Museum on Oral Health Education.

Zhu Jianguo

The Bell Tower in the West China Campus of Sichuan University.

Everyday people may not have been noticed. Many of them didn't even leave their names. They, however, promoted the prosperity of Chengdu. 

Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan Opera, tea houses, mahjong, business streets, ring roads and modern education bring inclusiveness and development to this thriving city.

Part Ⅴ Today’s Chengdu

Chengdu has gone through many ups and downs in 3,000 years.

Fan Zhe

Daci Temple with modern buildings in the background.

Modern buildings tower over the land.

Zhang Sheng

Overlooking the nocturnal landscape from 339 Television Tower.

Flourishing business

Li Yiheng

The panda decoration on the Chengdu IFS

Convenient transportation

Fan Zhe

The central axis of Chengdu: Tianfu Avenue.

Close-knit link with the whole world

Gu Chencheng

An aircraft landing at Shuangliu Airport.

Cutting-edge and varied lifestyles

Zhang Naigui

Chengdu Sports Center

People’s cultural pursuits

Zhang sheng

Fangsuo Bookstore.

Lu Junjiang

Sichuan Library.

The future is promising.

This is Chengdu, a city with 3,000 years of vigorous history.

Elendil

Tianfu Plaza.

References come from: Chengdu History Duan Yu, Xie Hui, Luo Kaiyu, Xie Yuanlu, Su Pinxiao, Chen Shisong, Li Yingfa, Zhang Lihong, Zhang Xuejun, HeYimin.

Gratitude goes to SCOL Aerial View for its support of this photo collection.


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